The Town Hall Project

Alexis Kelerchian and Grace Stetler

Gwynedd is on the quest to find new and innovative ways to give the student body a voice! During the activity periods from January 26th to January 29th, the L.E.A.D. Council sponsored the Town Hall Project, an initiative to empower girls to speak out in their school community. The Town Hall Project was first developed by Grace Stetler ’22 and Alexis Kelerchian ’22, who, over the summer, were certified in leadership through the Lead4Change program. Although the original concept involved the entire student body, faculty, staff, and administration coming together to discuss pertinent topics within the school, the girls got creative in executing their plan while accommodating the necessary COVID-19 safety protocols.

Over the course of the week, students completed a survey that touched on a series of topics regarding student participation and leadership opportunities: Do you know how to become a club leader? What are some potential ideas for prospective Programming Days or Activity Periods? The students were able to give their honest feedback to the questions, aiding Alexis, Grace, and the L.E.A.D. Council in creating a better communication bridge between administrators and students. Alexis and Grace now look to implement a number of student-proposed changes, such as constructing bulletin boards outlining club meeting schedules and better marketing information on how to start your own club or become an activity president. Grace Stetler expressed the girls’ hopes when she said “[we] know this is a time of uncertainty, and we’re hoping that this Town Hall project will empower you to take initiative with your voice and communicate with the student body. We hope to hear every Gwynedd girl’s voice and find clarity together.”

Although Alexis and Grace planned to have a second week of discussion on the topics, they had to postpone the student conversation element of the project until a later date due to the inclement weather conditions that resulted in two virtual days for all. Despite the bump in the road, Alexis and Grace have not been discouraged, as they were able to collect enough information from the first week’s surveys to present a number of talking points and ideas to members of faculty and administration. Alexis and Grace plan to have in the in-person Town Hall meetings later in the spring, but as of now, they plan on proposing the many ideas from the student body to student leaders, faculty, and administration here at Gwynedd. The duo is thrilled to have had the opportunity to facilitate the first facet of their Town Hall project and looks forward to more prospective opportunities to empower our Mercy Girls to use their voices in our school community!